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February 18, 2013

Sooners shut down in duals

NORMAN — College wrestling is mostly about winning championships, conference and national and neither of those things have anything to do with the dual format.

Indeed, the closest thing to any kind of dual championship is where Oklahoma found itself Sunday, in Corvallis, Ore., for the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals.

The NCAA recognizes no national dual champion, leaving the NWCA event as the next closest thing. Unfortunately for OU, its venture into the National Duals went about as well as much of its dual season prior to Sunday.

The Sooners fell twice, first to 19th-ranked Michigan 27-19 and then to No. 7 Virginia Tech 33-6.

The nightcap was particularly vexing, as the Hokies forfeited the 141-pound match, the weight in which the Sooners’ present top-ranked Kendric Maple competes. As it turned out, the six points the Sooner received for the forfeit were their only points from the entire dual.

As it had in the Michigan dual earlier, OU forfeited the 133-pound match to Virginia Tech. At the remaining eight weights, the Hokies won every one.

The Sooners earned no pins in either dual, though Maple and Matt Lester, at 157 pounds, both claimed technical falls against the Wolverines.

Maple moved to 23-0 this season.

Owing to the strange schedule that is college wrestling, the Sooners have three weeks off before the Big 12 Championship — which includes four teams: OU, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and West Virginia — begins in Stillwater March 8.

Two weeks later, the NCAA Championships begin in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 21.

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